Gai Waterhouse special guest for April Archer.

Published 24 January 2023

Gai Waterhouse special guest for April Archer.

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Rockhampton racing’s flagship race the $775K The Archer (1300m) has scaled unprecedented heights with the announcement that Hall of Fame trainer, Sydney’s Gai Waterhouse will be its special guest for the April Carnival.  

Rocky Amateurs chairman Bill Reid said his club was ecstatic that Gai described by him as “racing royalty” had graciously accepted the invitation to attend the Carnival running through from April 28 to April 30.

“We are delighted that Gai will be in Rockhampton as our special guest for the duration of the carnival. Gai will be in attendance at the Great Northern Brewing Sports Luncheon, the GDL Rockhampton/Mackay Cocktail Night and The Edge Apartments-Hotel Chairman’s Lunch. Gai is a wonderfully social lady and an icon among women and all in the racing industry. She is a delight to meet and I am sure everyone associated with The Archer will be thrilled to meet and mix with her and hear her stories and views on the racing industry”, Reid said.

The Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott training partnership provided third placegetter Dawn Passage in last year’s inaugural running of the $440K The Archer for slot-holders Alan and Jennifer Acton.

With a staggering $335,000 prize money leap and relocated to a clash free Sunday date of April 30, the 2023 The Archer is justifiably expected to attract record crowds to Callaghan Park racecourse.

“Believe me it will draw the best of jockeys, horses and trainers from throughout Australia and will focus national attention on the city of Rockhampton and the Central Queensland region as a whole. You can’t put a price on that promotion and the good it does for business and the local economy. This will be further uplifted by Gai Waterhouse’s presence in Rockhampton for the three days carnival’’, Reid said.

 Gai Waterhouse, born on September 2, 1954 and daughter of legendary Sydney trainer Tommy Smith who she worked alongside for 15 years, became a training entity in her own right in 1992.

Since then, Gai has rewritten the Austrian racing record books winning over 150 GROUP 1 races including the 2013 Melbourne Cup with Fiorente. 

Her training CV is quantitative of multiple wins in many of Australian’s quintessential races including seven successes in the Golden Slipper Stakes in Sydney.

In 2016, Waterhouse formed a training partnership with Sydney’s Adrian Bott and success has since galloped along with them.

Prior to this Bott had worked in the thoroughbred industry throughout his life including that of an assistant trainer at Waterhouse’s Randwick Tulloch Lodge stables before becoming her racing manager from 2013.

Bott 36, attended The Archer at Callaghan Park last year to saddle their runner Dawn Passage (third).

 Although Gai Waterhouse has never attended Callaghan Park racecourse, she and Bott are no strangers to success there having won the 2021 Rockhampton Cup with Regal Stage.

At the recently concluded 2023 Magic Millions Yearling Sales on the Gold Coast the combination signed off on approximately 30 yearlings (some including partners) spending $7.995 million

News of Gai Waterhouse’s presence in Rockhampton for The Archer Carnival is expected to see a massive spike in not only attences for the great race day but a rush for tickets to attend the associated functions.  

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